Worker safety has always been given paramount attention in the commercial diving industry. Divers use umbilical cables as a hose for breathing gas and communication to the surface. The NORSOK standard for umbilical cable lengths must not exceed 45 meters.
The Petroleum Safety Authority noticed that some companies are using umbilicals that are longer than the acceptable measurement in order for their dive support vessels to be situated farther from the dive site especially if there is a lack of space for the vessels. However, this may put commercial divers at risk.
On January 19, 2015 the PSA has issued some clarifications regarding the reasonable length of these umbilical cables. The letter contains some guidelines and rules to be observed by companies involved in manned underwater operations.
The guidelines state that the industry must comply with the standard measurements given so as to prevent possible personnel accidents. It also emphasizes principles regarding risk reduction in terms of workforce, environment and material assets. The letter serves as a reminder for operators and diving contractors to be consistent in following safety regulations implemented by the PSA.